Book Cover

A little girl loses her delivery of bannock bread, but animal helpers restore the ingredients in this picture book that includes Cree vocabulary. 

Kôhkum asks her granddaughter Awâsis to deliver a basket of freshly baked bannock to a relative. But, running and skipping along the way, Awâsis drops it over a bridge, losing it in the river. A series of animals stop her tears by providing ingredients for a new batch. For example, Sîsîp (duck) provides margarine: “I don’t have any bannock, but I do have some tohtosapopimehkan, and I’m pretty sure that’s in bannock!” Rabbit, frog, and owl also come to the rescue. Back at Kôhkum’s house, Maskwa (bear)—who ate the bannock that fell in the river and has been following along—knocks on the door, offering the final ingredient. Grandmother and granddaughter make a new batch, sharing it with Awâsis’ animal friends. A recipe and Cree word list follow. In his debut book, Hunt tells a story that already feels like a childhood classic. Young children will enjoy the tale’s effective repetition of incident and language (counterpointed with the unfamiliar vocabulary and some variation, as when Awâsis whispers or shouts), its cooperative animals, and the happy ending. Strong’s charmingly faux naif illustrations, dominated by soft colors of blue, purple, brown, and green, are lovely and expressive; the bear that can be spotted in many panels is a nice touch.

A delightful story with appealing illustrations that centers on Native American culture.

This article originally appeared on Kirkus Reviews